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Increasing retention in the workplace using behavioural science and gamification

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Many organisations are putting more money and effort each year into their hiring process. Companies want to ensure they are on-boarding the right people, but it can be easy to forget that equal effort needs to go into retaining their best employees.

One of the issues that managers face in terms of employee retention is lack of engagement or workers not being challenged with the work they do. One study shows that employee disengagement costs the U.S. economy $450-500 billion each year. Workers who are not engaged take less ownership and responsibility of their demeanor, which affects the team’s productivity.

The research suggests that employers should focus on promoting and maintaining employee engagement using various tools. Employers agree that employee engagement is vital to a company’s success.

Employees leave workplaces if their work is not challenging

According to a 2018 survey, 33% of those people who are changing jobs say that lack of challenges and boredom are the main reasons why they leave. Without the opportunity for self-development, workers lose motivation and may start to look for a new job. This is why managers should make sure their team members have enough variation and opportunities to learn at work.

Employee loyalty and engagement scores start to decline nine months before an employee leaves a workplace.

A recent study shows that a significant drop in employee loyalty and employee engagement scores are strong signs that an employee might be leaving soon. Scores will start to slip nine months before departure, which is an indicator that something’s not right. During this period, managers have the opportunity to act on the warning signs that they see to prevent an employee from leaving.

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Gamification can increase employee engagement and increase staff retention.

Many employers are starting to use gamification to keep employees engaged without offering tangible prizes such as cash or gift cards. The rewards offered must increase continuously to keep the process effective, as workers get used to them after a certain period.

Gamification uses the concepts from games and applies them to the work environment, it doesn’t necessarily mean shifting a job to an actual game. One activity managers can implement is by implementing professional goals for both the employee and the whole team, which can be rewarded once completed.

Performance feedback is available with gamification which lets workers reflect on how they’re doing. If they know they are performing well, it will be more likely that they continue what they are doing right and not lead to looking for other career opportunities. The reward and feedback methods utilised with gamification strategies promote employee satisfaction and can improve employee retention.

If you want to know more about implementing gamification in your workplace, get in touch with one of our behavioural experts at


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